The president of CEOE Internacional and president of the Council of Tourism, Culture and Sports of CEOE, Marta Blanco, participated in person in the III MICE Forum Annual Meeting (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions). On this occasion, the event was held in Madrid.

The conference was opened by the president of Foro MICE, Matilde Almandoz, who highlighted that this act is a demonstration that events and meetings can be organized in person. The business tourism sector is once again active and has adapted to the requirements of the new normal.

You can check the event program at this link.

Speech by the president of CEOE Internacional and the Council of Tourism, Culture and Sports of CEOE

In the first place, Marta Blanco highlighted that CEOE continues to work to support tourism in this crisis given its enormous importance in the Spanish economy, which can be defined as systemic. Proof of this is that, according to the Bank of Spain, tourism is the main export sector in our country, representing 16.4% of total exports of goods and services. Specifically, in the MICE sector, 65% of its billing is made abroad. Likewise, the president of CEOE International wanted to value the professionalism and competitiveness of Spanish companies dedicated to organizing events. The Spanish MICE sector is a world reference and has to continue to be so.

Consequently, the needs of Spanish tourism companies must be addressed urgently through a public-private collaboration plan for urgent action with cost containment measures, to support liquidity and build confidence.

Finally, the president highlighted that the MICE segment knows perfectly how to adapt its business model to new circumstances to take advantage of the opportunities in the current market. To this end, greater international coordination is essential in the conditions necessary for holding events that avoid distortions, incorporating health and safety issues as fundamental and betting on technology and innovation to grow in competitiveness and thereby increase the ecosystem of MICE companies.

Questions of interest of the III MICE Forum Annual Meeting:

During the conference, the need to measure tourism through elements such as big data was highlighted to adequately respond to the needs of the sector's demand. Measuring the development and dimensions of MICE tourism generates enormous value to the products of the subsector and helps to make decisions in a more agile and accurate way. Likewise, data can help personalize experiences, achieving satisfaction that allows you to capture and retain more customers. The data is richer and more abundant when you work hand in hand with the administration to obtain it, since it must be collected both in the events and outside of them.

On the other hand, companies in the sector have to continue adapting to digital transformation, as it has come to stay. A new value proposition that generates more interest among the public through technology is possible. However, the human side of MICE tourism must not be forgotten. There are certain aspects of building relationships and building trust with customers that are irreplaceable telematically. It is essential to communicate to brands and customers the new value proposition that is being generated, making them see that MICE tourism continues to be profitable.

The administration has to support the return to meetings and events through national and local plans and incentives. Companies from the entire tourism value chain should be provided as much as possible to carry out their activity, always respecting security measures.

The situation in the MICE sector is not going to be solved in the short term. There are indicators such as the non-reestablishment of the air routes or the delay in the celebration of large events that indicate the difficulty with which the sector will be encountered. However, congress tourism must not stop, it must continue to advance and adapt to the new reality towards a new, more competitive model.

Finally, it was pointed out that the training of personnel should be emphasized. The new working conditions and methods require adaptation by MICE professionals. Likewise, it is necessary to give importance to the company-training connection and to bet on specific education in congress tourism.

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